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India: an Empire in Denial
Maoist Naxalite attack in Central India
BBC News Report, 16 March 2007
The death toll in the attack on security forces by Maoist rebels in central India (on 15 March 2007) has risen to 55.... Of the 55 security forces who died in the attack, 39 were "special police officers" or members of a civil militia called Salwa Judum that is supported by the state government. It was launched a year and a half ago to fight the Maoists.
Tens of thousands of villagers have been displaced by the Salwa Judum campaign
and are living in government camps across the state.
The militants are known as Naxalites after the district where their Maoist-inspired movement was born in the late 1960s. They have become so powerful in some districts they run their own parallel administrations and justice systems.
Until recently, Naxalites have operated in pockets of jungle in India's poorest states. But correspondents say there is now more unity between the various groups, and that Thursday's attack will feed into anxiety that they pose a growing threat.
Analysts talk about the emergence of the Red Corridor, a great swathe of Maoist militancy which stretches all the way from the border with Nepal, south through India to the sea.